A former basalt mine pit on a volcanic butte between Monoszló and Zánka transfromed into a geotope and visitor centre.
Observed from Balaton Hegyestű shows its natural conic shape, however, its northern side was stripped off while mining for basalt. The 50-meter high pit wall displays columns of solidified basalt lava pentagonal and hexagonal in cross-section, which got stuck in the vent millions of years ago. Past volcanic activity less resistant rock was worn away by weathering and erosion while basalt caprock was left standing isolated. This is how other signature buttes of Balaton Uplands were formed too.
The mine was closed in 1970 and today it serves as a geotope. The western rim of the mine pit offers one of the most beautiful views over Káli Basin. Beside the lake you can see hills of Fonyód on the other side and buttes such as Badacsony, Gulács, Csobánc, Fekete-hegy and Boncsos-tető as well as Keszthelyi-hegység in the west.
Basalt exploited at the upper the middle pit benches was crushed on the pit floor with the site buildings. One of them is home to an exhibition displaying natural values and geological features of Balaton Uplands National Park, geological history of Hegyestű as well as the history of basalt mining. The outdoor stone park features a selection of rocks typical in the Transdanubian region.
Various gifts and brochures are available in the visitor centre.
Monoszló, medieval church - tympanum with the Tree of Life relief over the southern door
Herb Valley (Gyógynövény-völgy), Visitor and Educational Centre, Zánka